August 25, 2017

Calm, cool, colourful

This year’s show takes its inspiration from Africa to the Netherlands to Japan, with stops in our own backyard

By  Kathleen Freimond

An invitation to explore evokes visions of discovery, adventure, fun and learning. And that’s just what IDS Vancouver is offering at this year’s show. It features a diverse range of,exhibitors and design-centric brands reflecting inspiration from bustling world capitals to vibrant colours and patterns from Africa.

With “Let’s Explore” as the hashtag (#IDSLetsExplore) for the 13th annual showcase of what’s new and trending in the design world, IDS presents opportunities to learn from leading designers, be inspired by installations like Tokyo Exchange and Prototype, and gather ideas from the range of exhibitors that include talented people from Vancouver’s own burgeoning design community.

IDS Vancouver show director Jody Phillips is excited by a new venture, The Mix, a pairing of three local and three Netherlands-based studios. Burgers Architecture is designing and curating the exhibits of the three groups in the centre aisle of the show floor while conversations and events featuring the designers are scheduled off-site.   

Discover the latest in flooring, lighting, paint and window design

Brent Comber, influenced by the West Coast’s natural shapes and materials, will join forces with OS & OOS’s Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen to discuss the similarities and differences in the materials they use and why their surroundings influence their work.

The pairing of Stefanie van Keijsteren and Renee Mennen from Studio RENS and North Vancouver artist Bobbie Burgers is appropriately called Colour Hunters. Burgers says their conversation promises insights into the creative process. Known for her dramatic botanical paintings, Burgers says her work is largely a “solitary pursuit” and she is looking forward to finding out more about how the Eindhoven-based design duo come up with ideas and themes compared to her own process. “My works are non-functional and theirs are functional art pieces: what starts their ideas and what starts mine,” she asks.

Leading Vancouver designer Martha Sturdy and Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis will discuss what influences the materials they use and the objects they create. Both have worked with major brands: Marcelis has collaborated with Miya Kondo for Stella McCartney while Sturdy’s studio has produced custom furniture and fixtures for clients including Louis Vuitton, Saks and Four Seasons.

More than 200 exhibitors will  showcase art, ceramics, furniture and more

The lineup of speakers draws from across the design spectrum. One designer Phillips believes will attract a wide audience is Camille Walala (Saturday, Sept. 30). “Her roots are in textile and fashion so she has a very interesting take on design,” she says.

Influenced by the work of the Memphis Group, South Africa’s Ndebele tribe and op-art pioneer Victor Vasarely, Walala’s portfolio bursts with colour and pattern. At IDS, Walala will be collaborating with Ann Sacks, the trend-setting tile and stone company, to create the central bar installation on the show floor. Prepare for an explosion of colour!


Creator of lifestyle blog Wit & Delight, Kate Arends (Sunday, Oct. 1) will focus on the business of design, says Phillips. “More and more [interior] designers are broadening their scope and doing projects like designing storefronts and working with brands. She is a good example of someone who has successfully done that.”

The two speakers on Trade Day (Friday, Sept. 29; registration required) are Jaime Hayon and Matteo Cibic (see page 42). Hayon, a Spanish artist-designer, blends fantasy and functionality in Stone Age Folk, his collaboration with Caesarstone.

With more than 200 exhibitors showing goods including art, ceramics, furniture, appliances and the latest in flooring, lighting, furniture, paint, countertops and windows, there’s plenty for local design-savvy show-goers to explore.

Along with returning favourites such as Montauk Sofa, Inform Interiors and Livingspace there are newcomers including Vancouver-based fibre artist Jolynn Vandam, owner of Saige and Sky, who says she is excited to connect with other exhibitors and introduce her unique fibre hangings featuring natural dyes and incorporating driftwood from B.C.’s southern coast to attendees.

Vancouver-based Ben Barber will be exhibiting his modern furniture designs at IDS for the third time. Barber says he is experimenting with new metal finishes: Be on the look out for a new dining arrangement building on the success of his well-known Pluto tables.

IDS Vancouver is at Vancouver Convention Centre West from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.

Design to make you smile

Matteo Cibic finds joy in off-beat ideas

By  Lucy Hyslop

If you want to smile, simply turn to almost any Matteo Cibic creation. The celebrated Italian designer—starring at IDS Vancouver this fall—knows just how to reimagine décor playfully but elegantly in his diverse work.

Take, for example, the striking clay-and-glaze VasoNaso collection, some of which will accompany him to the West Coast. It was born out of a challenge to make one vase with a nose (yes, a nose) every day during 2016.

It’s just one of the extraordinary, exciting and offbeat ideas from the winner of the 2017 Elle Deco International Design Award for young design talent. Not only because the 33-year-old just gets “bored” sometimes and believes there are many other things out there to be done, but because he feels too many designers are “pretending to be serious without saying anything.”

Cibic’s work embodies myriad values and messages. “VasoNaso was formed out of my research into how some people can become addicted to some practice for decades or their entire life, in this case still-life painters,” he says, referring to Giorgio Morandi, the 20th-century artist who spent a lifetime compulsively painting pottery still life. For himself, Cibic learned that placing one vase next to another calmed his own hyperactivity. “I found my Zen practice.”

This tendency to give a lifelike persona to his pieces is a common theme in his studio, which was formed a decade ago in Vicenza and Milan. His collections include Domsai, Cibic’s desktop terrariums that are half legs in pants (some with socks, to boot) topped with astronaut-like glass helmets containing succulents, and Il Paradiso dei Sogni, his “dreamlike bestiary of ceramic characters,” such as a white-and-gold dog with human feet, for the DODO jewelry group.

As he works away on a new collection of mosaic surfaces, carpets, watches and lamps, he finds inspiration in travel and art. “Walking or running in the middle of the night help me brainstorm, too,” he says.

At IDS Vancouver, he promises he will give a speech on “why it is important to smile every day.” And, in addition to the VasoNaso pieces, Cibic will display 70 cabinets and other products he designed for Scarlet Splendour, the Indian luxury furniture brand. In typically surreal fashion, he quickly adds that there will also be “sausages with a strawberry taste” at the event.

They may just make you smile, too.

Matteo Cibic will be on the Caesarstone Stage on Friday, Sept. 29.

three to see

Essential viewing  at the West Coast’s  signature design show

By  Kathleen Freimond

Vancouver’s design sector is vibrant, dynamic and upbeat. “Everyone is busy. Some say there is almost too much work, but it makes for a very robust and great design community,” says IDS Vancouver show director Jody Phillips. That energy and excitement is evident in the range of feature installations at the design show, which comprise everything from early stage prototypes to work from established design studios. Put these installations on your must-see list.

tokyo exchange

Phillips, who scouts the world to present an intriguing mix of design influences at IDS, moved the focus of the 2017 Exchange from Europe to Tokyo. Daisuke Kitagawa’s Floe table, with its stainless steel base and coloured glass tabletop, is one of the pieces from Design for Industry that will feature in the installation curated by online magazine Design Milk and designed by Vancouver-based FSOAK Architect. Tokyo Exchange also features creations from we+ studio’s Toshiya Hayashi and Hokuto Ando.

intro la

The concept of Intro, a curated exhibit of brands and work by international designers, was first presented in New York in 2013, says Phillips. This year the model moves to Vancouver where Los Angeles-based design agency Small Office will present a vignette directed by Paul Valentine. Resident, a New Zealand company that designs both lighting and furniture is included along with the practical products made by London-based Very Good & Proper, and furniture from Swedish company Massproductions.

clay & glaze

A total crowd pleaser in 2016, Clay & Glaze, a collection of contemporary works from regional and international ceramicists, returns to IDS this year. The range of work is as diverse as the inspiration ceramicists have drawn from sources such as vintage glassware, Spanish drug jars and Iraqi dinner plates. Finishes range from slip casting to Oddness studio’s Bubblegraphy achieved by blowing air bubbles in the glaze. Aside from functional vessels, look out for the 500-plus tile mural by London-based Laura Carlin. The tiles will be transported from the UK to Vancouver and assembled onsite.


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